An elderly Michigan woman who died of natural causes last year was reportedly found weeks later, eaten by rats and her dog in a cluttered, filthy home.
Sally Honeycheck, 80, died last November while sitting in a lawn chair in the kitchen of her Detroit home. Weeks later, her cousin Linda Kajma not only discovered Honeycheck’s decaying body but found that the elder secretly lived in a hoarded home, covered in years worth of garbage and feces, according to an in-depth feature by the Detroit Free Press.
Honeycheck’s pet rottweiler was reportedly found deceased in a neighboring room. Kajma told the news outlet that she initially mistook Honeycheck’s body for a Halloween decoration.
For nearly their whole lives, Sally Honeycheck and her sister, Lorraine Honeycheck, lived in the 1,700-square-foot home which was purchased by their parents in 1951.
Weeks before Sally Honeycheck’s death, Lorraine was hospitalized for a stroke which rendered her nonverbal. She was at the Detroit Receiving Hospital on a ventilator when her sister passed away.
Weeks later, Kajma reportedly called the police to the sisters’ home because Sally Honeycheck wasn’t at the hospital. Kajma later learned Sally Honeycheck had left the hospital on November 12 to feed her dog, according to the Free Press.
Police arrived at the home but no one answered the door. Officers said they would be violating protocol by breaking into the home, a frustrated Kajma recalled. She reportedly returned a day later with a retired Detroit police officer and broke into home via a cellar.
“Oh my God. It was so disgusting,” she said. “There was garbage a foot deep.”
Kajma said she nearly fainted once realizing that the “prop” she walked past was actually her dead relative’s remains.
“I lost it. I didn’t know it was a dead body. I was angry at this point. I was stunned. I’m sitting in a truck going, ‘Where am I? What the hell is going on?'”
In the weeks following the discovery of her body, Kajma and others were cleaning out the home filled with decades-worth of the sisters’ belongings. Money the sisters stashed away was found mixed in with rat feces. Relatives also found objects from years past—including a receipt for a violin Kajma’s mother played as a child.
Sally Honeycheck was believed to have died sometime between November 12 and December 1, the day Kajma found her.
Kajma said her anger recently turned to sadness upon reading Sally Honeycheck’s autopsy report for the first time. In it, the coroner noted that the elder’s body had suffered “extensive postmortem animal consumption.”
“I cried for her,” she said of her late cousin. “I cried for her, finally.”
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[Featured image: Pixabay]